If you have been involved in a car accident and your insurer or the other party’s insurer acts in bad faith toward you, you have the right to file a lawsuit against them. Insurance companies owe a duty of good faith to their clients. If they fail to fulfill that duty and the policy holder’s claim turns into a bad faith insurance claim, the client can be compensated an amount larger than their policy’s value.
An insurance company may be operating in bad faith if they refuse or delay your payment without any explanation. A South Carolina car accident attorney can help you detect insurance bad faith and guide you on responding.
A person who wants to be prepared and able to get compensated when an unexpected event happens pays for an insurance policy, believing that the insurance company will pay for their claim. Nevertheless, not all insurance companies operate in good faith. When an insurance company fails to fulfill its contractual duties, a bad faith insurance claim may be filed.
Bad Faith Law
Two competing interests need to be balanced by the bad faith law:
- The insurer’s right to reject a claim that is not valid.
- According to their plan’s terms, the policy holder’s right to receive payment for a legitimate claim.
Signs Of A Bad Faith Insurance
Unfortunately, an insurance company operating in bad faith is not a rare phenomenon. You might be a victim of a bad faith insurance company if one or more of the following happened to you.
- Your insurance company refuses to pay your claim without giving any explanation. An insurance company rejecting a claim without a reasonable basis is the most usual type of bad faith claim. However, you may not recognize their bad faith act if they cite a multi-page explanation in your contract that is hard to understand. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help you identify whether your insurance company is trying to avoid compensating you while your claim is legitimate based on your contract.
- Your insurance company refuses to investigate your claim or deliberately delay the process. If you have been injured in a car accident, and you have submitted to them all the necessary documentation and information, and they fail to respond in a timely manner, then this could result in a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
- Your insurance company tries to settle for a much smaller amount than you deserve, based on your contact with them. Insurance companies aim to make a profit. Their objective is to pay as little as possible while fulfilling their legal responsibilities.
- Your insurance company requests an extreme amount of evidence and paperwork to accept your claim. People who are not familiar with these kinds of processes may think that this is how it works and will not suspect that this is a tactic the insurance company uses to avoid payment. A typical delay tactic is when the insurance company requests from you both a formal proof of loss form and a preliminary claim report. Though you may find this request reasonable, these two forms contain the same information.
How To File A Bad Faith Insurance Claim
The legal system sets strict standards for insurance companies. These laws were formed to protect American citizens. If you file for a bad faith insurance claim, the damages your insurer will be required to compensate may include the following:
- Statutory penalty
- Statutory interest
- Excess judgment loss
- Lawyer fees
- Mental suffering
- Financial loss
- Punitive damages
The more comprehensive your bad faith insurer’s behavior was, the more compensation you can win for your damages. The ways to prove that your insurer breached their duty of good faith are the following:
- Prove that your insurance company refused to compensate you for your losses without a legitimate reason.
- Show that your insurance contract does not comply with the “reasonable person” requirement. If your contract included terms that may not be comprehensible by a person of reasonable intelligence, then certain parts of your insurance policy may not be valid.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer In Greenville, SC
Not all claim denials qualify as a bad faith insurance claim. If you or someone you love were involved in a traffic accident, and your insurance claim was denied, then you should consider consulting a Greenville car accident lawyer. Call us today at Brumback and Langley Law Firm to arrange for your free consultation. Our team of experienced auto accident lawyers can negotiate with your insurance company and ensure that you receive the full amount you are legally owed according to your insurance policy.